Over the past few months, we have all experienced tremendous life-altering events in our community, country, and world. A world pandemic has brought our country to a halt. Some have lost loved ones, others have been isolated in their homes, many have lost jobs and are suffering from economic hardships. And more recently, the events surrounding the murder of George Floyd have revealed the systematic racism in our country. There are many who are speaking about these events. From social media posts to cable television pundits, we are hearing various narratives that are often formed to advance political gain. Who is telling the truth? How do we determine our response as Christians?
James was living in a chaotic world as well. The first century persecution of Christians and the task of organizing the newly formed church must have been overwhelming. Voices of so-called wisdom were speaking from every direction. From Jewish religious leaders to Greek philosophers to Roman government officials, everyone claimed to be speaking truth. In this context, James guides us in discerning the competing spokespersons. He helps us identify the characteristics of those who are filled with godly wisdom.
I hope you will read this passage before attending the live stream on Sunday at 10:45 AM. Also, you will want to remember to prepare your communion elements before the service begins. You can use bread or crackers, wine or grape juice (or really any drink that you might have available). You might want to set up a table (perhaps with a cloth) for the elements before you gather together to watch the stream.
If you have children and would like to involve them in the celebration, let me direct you to this guide. You can simply stop the stream and walk through this on your own.
(James 3:13-18 NIV) Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.